Canned seafood exports rise

VCN - In the first two months of 2021, exports of canned seafood enjoyed breakthrough growth, with an increase of 42%, reaching nearly $55 million. Demand for processed seafood products is changing amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Processing canned seafood for exporting. Photo: T.H

According to Le Hang, Deputy Director of VASEP Center, the pandemic and social distancing over the past year have made the trends of seafood consumption in Vietnam's export markets change significantly. While fresh, raw, and frozen seafood is afflicted because of the pandemic, seafood products with a long shelf life and easy processing will prosper. In 2020, the growth rate of nearly 9% in Vietnam's canned seafood export with sales of more than $331 million.

With the above growth momentum, in the first two months of 2021, the growth rate of canned seafood export enjoyed a greater breakthrough, increasing 42%, reaching nearly $55 million, accounting for nearly 6% of total seafood export turnover. The main species of canned seafood for export include tuna, scad, herring, basa, saury, crab and shrimp. Of which canned tuna, canned tuna and bagged account for the largest proportion of 66%, canned crab meat accounts for 13%, scallops 8%, shrimp 1.6% and basa fish accounts for nearly 2%.

Canned tuna products including skipjack, yellowfin, big eyed tuna in oil, soaked in water, cut in salt pasteurised and canned crab meat is also exported to markets in Europe, America, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and Thailand.

By 2020, 90 markets imported the canned seafood of Vietnam, of which the top 10 markets include the US, Thailand, Germany, Egypt, Canada, Japan, France, Israel, Hong Kong and Jordan, accounting for 73% of total exports. Of which, the US accounts for 38%, the dominant proportion.

There are more than 40 enterprises having canned seafood products for export in 2020, of which the top 10 enterprises account for 84%, mainly tuna exporters. In which, the top three enterprises include Highland Dragon accounting for 21% of export sales, Pataya 16% and Foodtech 11.5%.

In the first two months of 2021, there were 28 enterprises exporting canned, canned and bagged seafood to the world market. The top 10 exporting enterprises accounted for over 83% with about $44.5 million. In which, there are three largest enterprises, namely Highland Dragon, Pataya and Viet Cuong Canned Food, accounting for 19.4%, 14% and 10%, respectively.

There are 55 import markets for Vietnamese canned seafood in the first two months of this year, of which the top 10 markets account for more than 84% with a value of about $45 million. The US accounts for the largest proportion (40%) thanks to a sharp increase in sales of nearly 60% from the same period in the past.

Except for the German market, the rest of the top 10 markets, such as Japan, Canada, Egypt, Australia, and Thailand all increased strongly for Vietnam's canned fish imports.

Besides canned products, in 2021, the seafood trade situation will still be strongly affected by the pandemic, this is still the main factor that dominates Vietnam's trend of seafood import and export. However, according to Le Hang, Vietnam can still maintain its competitive advantage in raw material supply compared to other countries. In addition, free trade deals will continue to be a lever for Vietnam's seafood exports to recover in some markets. After a year, Vietnamese seafood enterprises will have more experience and flexibility to adapt to fluctuations and changes in market demands and tastes.

Therefore, experts forecast seafood export in 2021 will have better results than 2020, estimated at $8.8 billion, up nearly 5%. In particular, canned and bagged seafood products of Vietnam will continue to take advantage of opportunities in export markets, at least in the first half of the year when the Covid -19 pandemic has not been controlled in the world.

By Lê Thu/Thanh Thuy

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